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Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate

Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate

Overall health and risk of degenerative disease are inextricably linked to dietary practice. This innovative, world-recognized, world-class, online certificate program introduces a new way of thinking about nutrition and explores the benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet, based on the research and teachings of Dr. T. Colin Campbell and a variety of other experts in the field.

  • Real world knowledge
  • Research based content
  • Facilitation by trained content experts
  • Continuing Education Credits
  • Flexible class and payment schedule
  • No pre-requisites

Certificate Overview

Included are 17 information packed lectures, readings, moderated discussions, no-pressure quizzes, bonus materials and more. The program is divided into 3 courses, each taking 2 weeks to complete with an estimated time commitment of 5 to 7 hours per week.

Our courses are offered through the highly rated eCornell platform. eCornell is a subsidiary of Cornell University and provides online professional and executive development to students and teachers around the world.

Julie Marie Christensen, Educator Holistic Health Coach Physician

Certificate Objectives

  • Discuss nutrition from the “wholistic” perspective advanced by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
  • Analyze and critique common perceptions of protein, fat, and carbohydrates
  • Critically evaluate nutrition claims encountered in the media
  • Explain the physiological reasons we are drawn to foods that do not support health
  • Describe the role of nutrition in the development of chronic disease
  • Talk about environmental consequences of food choices
  • Discuss the impact of industry on both science and public policy
  • Communicate effectively about the rationale for whole food, plant-based nutrition

Certificate Information

  • Courses
  • Testimonials
  • Faculty
  • FAQ

Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate

Course 501: Nutrition Fundamentals
  • State of Health
  • Experimental Studies on Protein
  • The China Project
  • Repercussions of Our Preoccupation with Protein
  • Public Perceptions of Fat
Course 502: Diseases of Affluence
  • Calories, Obesity and Diabetes
  • The Pleasure Trap
  • Heart Disease
  • Diet and Cancer
  • Chronic Diseases
Course 503: Principles in Practice
  • Interpreting and Evaluating Scientific Research
  • Nutrition in the Medical Clinic
  • Supplements
  • The Environmental Impact
  • Industry and Public Policy

Certificate Testimonials

I am forever grateful for the information that Dr. Campbell has given me. Angela H.
I have finally, FINALLY been able to stop searching for the answer to being healthy. I have found it after completing this course...!!!! Tara E.
The Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition program changed the way I practice medicine. It is a comprehensive, engaging look at effective, cutting-edge nutritional information, supported by state-of-the-art research. Marne O., MD
The information in the course has had a powerful impact on my life, I ’m seeing results, and sharing with others. Paula H.
l feel truly privileged to be a part of this course at a time when we can use the knowledge to make a real difference in the world. Jessica H.
Even though I am already in the nutrition field I learned new information about the politics of food and how it affects the health of all Americans. I will spread this information to peers, medical team members and patients well as passing it on to friends and family. Terry M.
Dr. Campbell’s research and teachings, founded in solid science, have opened my eyes. I previously considered coronary artery disease to be a terminal illness on par with cancer. The data presented here has demonstrated that this process can not only be arrested, but in some cases reversed. Marc K., MD

Dr. T. Colin Campbell

Plant-based nutrition instructor

For more than forty years, Dr. T. Colin Campbell has been at the forefront of nutrition research. His legacy, the China Project, is the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. Dr. Campbell is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. He has more than seventy grant-years of peer-reviewed research funding and authored more than 300 research papers. In addition, he is coauthor with Thomas Campbell, MD, of the bestselling book, The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health and wrote the New York Times Bestseller Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition with Howard Jacobson, PhD. Reduce Text

Doug Lisle, PhD

Plant-based nutrition instructor

Dr. Lisle received the President's Fellowship and was a Dupont Scholar at the University of Virginia where he completed his PhD in Clinical Psychology. He was then appointed lecturer expand in Psychology at Stanford University and was on the staff at the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Palo Alto, California. Dr. Lisle worked as a forensic psychologist for the criminal justice system in Dallas, Texas and as a consultant for the National Institute of Health Clinical Trial on Cognitive Therapy for Recurrent Depression at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Lisle lectures nationally to health professionals on topics including evolutionary psychology, cognitive therapy, lifestyle modification, relaxation and stress management, and weight loss. Reduce Text

Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD

Plant-based nutrition instructor

Dr. Esselstyn was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George's Hospital in London. Dr. Esselstyn has been associated with the Cleveland Clinic since 1968. During that time, he has served as President of the Staff and as a member of the Board of Governors. He chaired the Clinic's Breast Cancer Task Force and headed its Section of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery. In 1995 he published his benchmark long-term nutritional research on arresting and reversing coronary artery disease in severely ill patients. That same study was updated at 12 years and reviewed beyond twenty years in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, making it one of the longest longitudinal studies of its type. Dr. Esselstyn presently directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. Reduce Text

John McDougall, MD

Dr. McDougall, He is certified as an internist by the Board of Internal Medicine and the National Board of Medical Examiners. Dr. McDougall has cared for thousands of patients over almost 3 decades of medical practice and has run a highly successful live-in program for more than 20 years. Dr. McDougall has developed a nourishing , low-fat, starch-based diet that not only promotes a broad range of dramatic and lasting health benefits such as weight loss, but most importantly can also reverse serious illness, such as heart disease, without drugs. Reduce Text

Matthew Lederman, MD

Drs. Alona Pulde and Matthew Lederman are licensed medical physicians practicing nutrition and lifestyle medicine in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Pulde is a Family Physician and Licensed Acupuncturist uniting two powerful and synergistic healing approaches - the technological skill of Western Medicine with the ancient wisdom of Chinese Medicine. Dr. Lederman is a board certified Internal Medicine Physician. In addition, Dr. Lederman sits on the Board of Directors of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and is the Chief Medical Advisor for the website Reduce Text

David Pimentel, PhD

Professor Pimentel, professor of ecology and agricultural sciences at Cornell University. Ph.D. from Cornell University; postdoctoral study at Oxford University. His research spans the fields of energy, biotechnology, invasive species, population, land and water conservation, and environmental policy. Pimentel has published more than 670 scientific papers and 30 books. He has served on many national and government committees including the National Academy of Sciences; President's Science Advisory Council; U.S. Department of Energy; U.S. Department of Agriculture; U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare; Office of Technology Assessment; and the U.S. State Department. Reduce Text

Bruce Monger, PhD

Bruce Monger is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University. His research involves the use of satellite remote sensing methods to study environmental controls of ocean primary production at global scales. Monger is a strong proponent of undergraduate education and received the Marilyn Emmons Williams Award in 2001 for outstanding contributions in support of undergraduate research at Cornell. Monger received his BA degree from the University of Washington, his PhD from the University of Hawaii and served as a postdoctoral researcher at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. He currently serves as a member of NASA's Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Science Team. Reduce Text

Who should enroll?


Healthcare Professionals including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, health education specialists etc. Students, Retirees, Executives, Athletes, Parents, Chefs, Culinary Professionals, Wellness Professionals including Massage therapists, wellness coaches, chiropractors, lifestyle counselors, acupuncturists etc.

What can I use my certificate for?

If I complete the program, what will I be “certified” to do? The Certificate denotes your successful completion of a study program in plant based nutrition. It does not certify you in a certain field of practice. It does not grant you any title, including "nutritionist," which may be subject to state regulations, and does not grant you certification to work in institutions, like an R.D. It does reflect your rigorous study of the evidence reflecting the health benefits of a WFPB diet. In addition, it does render you eligible to receive general and professional education credits in many fields of expertise (see Continuing Education).

Will this program provide specific recommendations on how to transition to a plant-based diet?

The Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition focuses on the science-based evidence showing the fundamental benefits of eating a diet based on whole, plant food. It's not a practicum in how to adopt a healthy diet. However, students often ask for guidelines on what to eat and how to do it. As Dr. Campbell says in The China Study: "One of the most fortunate findings from the mountain of nutritional research I’ve encountered is that good food and good health is simple. The biology of the relationship of food and health is exceptionally complex, but the message is still simple. The recommendations coming from the published literature are so simple that I can state them in one sentence: eat a whole foods, plant-based diet, while minimizing the consumption of refined foods, added salt and added fats."

I already read The China Study. Will information presented in these courses be different?

Some of the information presented will be familiar to readers of The China Study. Why is this the case? We believe the material in The China Study is so rich and complex and the implications so wide-ranging, that even students who have read the book can glean a great deal more from it by exploring it more deeply and discussing it together. In addition, we’ll take the time to examine what Dr. Campbell’s findings mean within the broader context of nutrition science, and clarify some misconceptions about the book, its relationship to The China Project, and the significance of both the book and the study.